DAY 90: Tuesday 16 June
Good morning everyone
I wonder what you would consider to be good news?
Maybe the reopening of more shops yesterday? Maybe it’s the opportunity for lone adults to meet in their family bubble? Maybe it’s the declining reported death rate over the past 2-3 weeks? Maybe it’s the improvement in air quality and lower pollution levels? Maybe it’s the return of some Premier League football this week?
Or maybe when you hear the words ‘good news’ you think of the message of the church, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, born a man, died a Saviour and rose again in victory.
For two millennia the Christian church has described itself as the bringer of Good News, or Gospel. In many traditional churches, the Bible reading from the New Testament will be referred to as ‘the Gospel reading’.
Over the past 2 centuries, small evangelical churches were often set up and named ‘Gospel Hall’, or ‘Gospel Mission’. Our Chapel was originally called ‘Falcon Lodge Hall’ so the word ‘Gospel’ wasn’t actually in the original name although the church focussed so much of its outreach in sharing the Gospel message. In fact, for many years, our Sunday 6:30pm service was called the ‘Gospel Service’. In 1963 on the opening of our new brick building, the place was renamed ‘Falcon Lodge Chapel’ but the primary focus was still sharing the Gospel message.
At this time in history, the world desperately wants to hear good news, but people need to hear good news that is real, honest and trustworthy. But so much of the media seems to focus on bad news, seeking to unearth a crisis from every story. So we need to give people the good news, to share our personal experience of God.
In the Gospel of Luke chapter 4:18-19 we read how Jesus went to the synagogue and chose to read the prophecy from Isaiah 61
The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.
Having read these words, Jesus handed the scroll back to the synagogue attendant but then added ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’
So what is this ‘good news to the poor’? It’s not confined to people who are financially poor. People can be morally poor, in poverty of experiencing any hope, poverty of ever experiencing love or freedom. So we can see that the ‘good news’ relates to all aspects of our lives. God’s good news affects our whole life.
Hymnalong for today is a great old Gospel hymn often sung in evangelistic meetings and crusades >>> TO GOD BE THE GLORY
Vera’s condition continues to improve slowly and her blood pressure now is nearer normal. She is able to eat more each day and is having more conversations. She has also been assigned an occupational therapist. Because of the improvements, Vera has been moved from the side room into the main ward, but the bad news is that because of now being in a general ward, she can no longer have visitors so can’t see her family anymore.
Many of you will be aware of our plans to improve accessibility in the building for which we had applied for a grant from Sutton Town Council at the beginning of the year. We were expecting to get the response from the Council in March but coronavirus cancelled all Council meetings. Yesterday afternoon, we finally received the grant approval letter so we’re now awaiting a response from the building contractor as to when they can start the work. It would be nice if all the work could be completed before we return to the Chapel, so that would mean minimal disruption for our groups and meetings.
Alan Coates has now ventured from his house twice since last week and we saw him yesterday afternoon (at a distance of course). Initially we thought Santa had arrived early as Alan is sporting a really impressive Santa hairstyle and beard!
MAKE YOU SMILE: - more signs of getting old -
• Growing old is mandatory…Growing up is optional !
• I am not young enough to know everything !!!
• I just let my mind wander, but it didn’t come back.
• I look in the mirror and what do I see, but little wrinkles creeping up on me!